NOJO: Essentially Ellington Press Release

Nine high school Jazz bands from across the region will perform and learn directly from renowned Jazz
artists on Saturday, April 5th, at UNO’s campus.
NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 18, 2014) – Nine high school Jazz ensembles from four states will kick off festival season in
New Orleans on Saturday, April 5th, by performing big band Jazz at Louisiana’s Regional Essentially Ellington (EE) High
School Jazz Festival. A program of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) in New York City, EE co-produces these noncompetitive,
education-focused festivals at various locations across the country; they are designed to offer high school
Jazz bands of all levels the opportunity to perform the music of Duke Ellington and other seminal big band composers
and arrangers. This event will be hosted by the New Orleans Jazz Institute (NOJI), which is a partnership between the
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) and UNO and is directed by Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield.
The Jazz festival, which is free and open to the public, will take place at UNO’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) in the
Recital Hall. Bands will perform from 9:00am until 3:00pm. Ensembles participating in the festival will perform three
selections; each band will receive immediate feedback from an EE adjudicator. Following the performances, the student
musicians and leaders will split into one of six workshops from 3:30-4:30pm: Rhythm Section, Trumpets, Trombones,
Woodwinds, Vocalists, and Band Directors. Members of UNO’s Jazz Studies faculty, NOJO musicians, and NOJI Director
Mayfield will lead the workshops.
“It is an honor to work with Jazz at Lincoln Center to bring Louisiana’s Regional EE Festival to New Orleans, the
birthplace of Jazz, and to the University of New Orleans, where Chairman Emeritus Ellis Marsalis created such an
important Jazz Studies program. I look forward to meeting talented student musicians from across the region,” said
The day will conclude with a celebration and awards presentation from 4:45-5:45pm, also in UNO’S PAC Recital Hall. The
event will feature a performance by Mayfield with the UNO Jazz Studies faculty and other local musicians, as well as an
appearance by NOJI’s Saturday Music School “Junior NOJO” Big Band.
The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit or call Katie DeBruhl at
504.913.0575. The festival is presented through a partnership between NOJI, JALC’s EE program, UNO and NOJO.
Participating high schools include: The Dunham School (Baton Rouge, LA), Grissom High School (Huntsville, AL), James
Bowie High School (Austin, TX), Kentwood High Magnet School (Kentwood, LA), Little Rock Central High School (Little
Rock, AR), The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (New Orleans, LA), St. Thomas More Catholic School
(Lafayette, LA), Westlake High School (Westlake, LA), and Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center (Dallas, Texas).
All ensembles participating in the festival are members of JALC’s 2013-2014 free EE program. Schools that join this
program are eligible to participate in the regional festival and have the option to submit a recording for the national EE
High School Jazz Competition & Festival held annually in New York City at Fredrick P. Rose Hall, the home of JALC. As
part of their free membership, Band Directors receive eight original transcriptions of the music of the Duke Ellington and
Gerald Wilson Orchestras, as well as access to reference recordings, a revolutionary interactive music player featuring
the JALC Orchestra, teaching guides, newsletters and other resources.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles on the day of the festival. Interested individuals are asked to contact Katie
DeBruhl at or 504.913.0575 for more information and to volunteer.
About The Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program
EE is unique among educational resources for high school Jazz bands. Each year, JALC transcribes, publishes and
distributes charts by Duke Ellington and other seminal big band composers and arrangers, along with additional
educational materials, to bands in the U.S., Canada and American schools abroad. Beyond providing these charts, EE also
supports its members throughout the school year with a variety of initiatives, including teaching guides, the EE website,
newsletters, a student composition contest, and professional feedback of student performances of the charts. Schools
that join the program also have the option to submit a recording for the national EE High School Jazz Band Competition
& Festival held annually in New York City at the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall.
About NOJI
NOJI is a partnership that links UNO’s strengths in Jazz education with NOJO’s professional and performance expertise
and serves to promote creative excellence and best practices in Jazz composition, performance, scholarship,
importation, exportation and education. NOJI hosts a medley of Jazz education and advancement initiatives, including
music education programs Saturday Music School and Project Prodigy, biannual Jazz commissions entitled “NOJI Masters
Series,” and a discourse class discussing New Orleans culture at UNO.
About NOJO
NOJO is a performing-arts organization whose goal is to strengthen the business of Jazz through performances, tours,
recordings, education, and media platforms. Founded in 2002 by trumpeter, composer, arranger and bandleader Irvin
Mayfield, NOJO’s mission is to inspire freedom and culture in the individual and global community by creating authentic,
engaging Jazz experiences, while celebrating the origins and transforming the future of Jazz. For more information,
please visit


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